5. Progress for Everyone - People

Employer of choice

At VodafoneZiggo, we want to be an employer of choice. We begin by offering excellent employment conditions for people at every phase of their lives and careers, supporting our employees’ health and well-being and ensuring a fulfilling work environment. Our goal is for colleagues to feel able to be themselves, connect with one another and access unlimited development opportunities.


In a competitive labour market, we stepped up our visibility in October 2023 by launching a new employer branding campaign to tell our story as one VodafoneZiggo. Rather than hiring models, we showcased the enthusiasm of our employees as ‘real’ models in all promotional materials, including a music video and radio commercial called ‘Let me hear you say YEAH!’. We also adapted this campaign for two specific target groups – customer contact and digital and technology – to generate additional interest among these critical talent pools. Our analysis showed that the campaign enhanced brand awareness by 46% and improved brand perception by 43% among the target audience.

We also launched two major campaigns to recruit the next generation of talented graduate trainees. This resulted in more than 1,500 applications to our well-established Discover traineeship programme, an increase of 51% versus 2022.

For candidates who want to work for our company, the overall application and recruitment experience is very important. In 2023, we received 35% more applications than the previous year. Rejected candidates scored the application process 7.4 out of 10 on average, while hired candidates gave it an average score of 9.2. We aim to make sure that our recruitment processes, like every area of our organisation, are fair for people of all backgrounds. For this reason, we focus on potential rather than experience (see Diversity, equity and inclusion (new window)). To support this, we launched a new assessment tool, Equalture, that helps to remove unconscious bias and promote equal opportunities, as well as a new referral tool, Connect a Talent, that also showed positive results. In 2023, 28% of the candidates that were referred internally were hired.


Our competitive rewards package is essential to attracting, retaining and motivating our talent. The focus is on incentivising people to go the extra mile, on offering employees the freedom to get the most out of their benefits and on being fair and equal. At VodafoneZiggo, everyone is entitled to the same leave arrangements, regardless of their family composition, and we offer the option to swap some public holidays for other days. We also provide employees with green mobility solutions, such as NS Business Cards (see Sustainable mobility (new window)).

In 2023, we added targets related to people (women in top management; helping people progress in society) and planet (reductions in CO2 emissions) as a multiplier to the financial metrics already used in our bonus scheme. If all targets are met, our employees can receive an additional bonus. We also want to be sure there is no gender pay gap in our organisation. In 2023, we started an in-depth analysis of all relevant data, and we will begin any necessary corrective actions in 2024.


Taking care of our people’s health and well-being is a top priority for VodafoneZiggo. We are committed not only to supporting colleagues with illness to return to work, but also to preventing illness in the first place. To do this, we have built a strong network of internal and external experts, including absence coaches, occupational health doctors and health providers. In 2023, we also started collaborating with Adaptics on a preventive medical examination programme for employees.

Our holistic approach is supported by four pillars – mental, physical, social and financial – which provide the framework for employee programmes such as health checks, mental check-ups, webinars and financial coaching. One popular initiative is Awaken Your Inner Champ, a 90-day personal development programme featuring individual and group activities. In 2024, we will focus on vital leadership and on the needs of specific populations, from people aged 50 or over to colleagues in particular departments.

We find it essential that employees feel safe in their working environment. Therefore, we have Hotline reporting channels in place (see Ethics and Compliance (new window)) for employees who experience unacceptable behaviour. In 2023, we also made employees more aware of our Trust Buddies through an internal campaign. Trust Buddies are trained colleagues to whom employees can go for a listening ear or a safe and confidential place to tell their story and when needed provide support on how to proceed. Trust Buddies know all options to address and report inappropriate behaviour and are therefore an accessible option to everyone working at VodafoneZiggo.


In 2023, many colleagues continued to take advantage of our hybrid-work pilot, with people working, on average, two or three days per week from home. This allowed them to stay connected to their team while also enjoying a healthier work–life balance. During the year, we thoroughly analysed the effects of the pilot on people’s engagement, performance and connection to VodafoneZiggo. Using these results, we will translate the running pilot into a formal Connected Working 2.0 policy in 2024.


Since 2020, we have offered unlimited learning opportunities to all VodafoneZiggo employees, supporting people with the training and development they need to achieve specific targets or to boost their personal and professional growth. Our learning platform, Progress for You, is provided in partnership with Archipel and contains a library of more than 10,000 on- and offline trainings, podcasts, tests and scans. This broad portfolio of resources helps us fulfil the growing demand for continuous learning.

In 2023, employees requested more than 6,800 trainings at an average of 16 training hours per employee. More than half of the training requests were for in-company learning sessions. In addition, 98% of our employees completed mandatory trainings, such as safety training for our technicians and compliance training for all employees.

Our aim for 2024 is to better align our training proposition with the skills needed to support our employees’ careers and realise VodafoneZiggo’s strategic ambitions. We will also continue to onboard all new joiners with the support of and information from our Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity, equity & inclusion teams, thereby helping to foster a workplace where everybody feels able to be themselves (see Diversity, equity and inclusion (new window)).

Our company values will remain fundamental to our approach to deliver an exceptional experience.


Anticipating the end of VodafoneZiggo’s existing two-year Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) in December 2023, we started the process of its replacement. Our focus extends beyond merely revising our employee rewards policy; we are committed to addressing a wide range of matters concerning our aspirations as an employer of choice. This includes initiatives related to attraction and retention and sustainable employment.

We use the DigiC model for negotiations, giving all VodafoneZiggo colleagues – even those who are not members of a trade union – the right not only to have their say in discussions but also to vote on the resulting CLA proposal. We believe everyone should have the chance to participate in the discussion about their own employment conditions and to make their voice heard in a democratic process. In 2023, 45% of employees participated in the CLA survey (2021: 40%), showing a strong level of interest among our workforce.

The next steps include independently organised surveys and panel discussions with employees, as well as conversations with VodafoneZiggo’s employee resource groups (see Diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace (new window)) to find out which topics these specific communities want to see reflected in our CLA. As part of the overall process, we also aim to simplify and modernise the language used in the agreement, making this important document more accessible and inclusive.


Our business, purpose and strategy rely on our 6,800 employees across the Netherlands. In a challenging labour market and with Generation Z entering the workforce, it is more important than ever that we ensure VodafoneZiggo is a great place to work, for people from all walks of life. Only by attracting and retaining a diverse and talented workforce can we deliver an exceptional experience for our customers.

Together with our partner Peachy Mondays, we measure employee engagement via quarterly Heartbeat surveys. These anonymous surveys are a valuable tool for gathering insights into job satisfaction that we can use to open up the conversation about matters impacting employee engagement. In our final survey of 2023, our engagement score was 77 (2022: 76).

In 2023, we further rolled out our Organisational Network Analytics (ONA) dashboard in the organisation, making it another example of the way in which our human resources (HR) activities are increasingly driven by and geared towards a Smart Digital Experience (see Digital organisation (new window)). The dashboard provides insights into working and collaboration patterns at team level, encouraging teams to improve their habits and thrive in the workplace.


In 2023, having carried out dozens of sessions and workshops with a wide range of colleagues and external behavioural experts, we identified a new behavioural focus for VodafoneZiggo. Designed to support our new business strategy, this approach is fit for the future of our organisation and puts our people at the heart of all we do.

We will start a programme in 2024 to stimulate and embed the desired behaviour. Our three company values – Open up, Team up, Step up – will remain fundamental to our approach, helping us activate the behaviours we need to deliver an exceptional experience for employees and customers alike.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I)

Enabling Progress for Everyone starts with our own people – which is why ensuring DE&I at VodafoneZiggo is of huge importance to us. The tensions and polarisation in the world around us provide us with even more motivation to create a safe working environment, where talented people of all backgrounds feel able to participate, to be their true selves and to use their different perspectives to power progress within and beyond our organisation.


We want VodafoneZiggo to represent the society we operate in, so we can build the highest-quality and most relevant solutions for our customers. To achieve this, bringing together people from all different walks of life – and all their different ideas, experiences and skills – is essential. Otherwise, we risk becoming stuck in a creative bubble, excluding certain (groups of) people and/or building inequity into our products and services.

Our DE&I strategy has three focus areas. First, we aim to foster inclusive connections by opening up dialogues and holding courageous conversations. Second, we want to embed equity in our systems and processes, tackling discrimination and uncovering any biases. Finally, we are looking to extend our reach and impact in society, including by teaming up with external partners.

In 2023, we took important steps forward, acting based on the data gained from 2022’s DE&I employee survey and the insights identified by our new DE&I ambassador groups.


To increase workforce diversity, we need to reach out to broader talent pools, identifying and recruiting people we, or the wider labour market, may have traditionally overlooked. We are committed to welcoming more colleagues who face an extra challenge to work owing to a disability, illness or medical condition. Bridging the gap is a matter of equity: actively providing what colleagues need to be successful.

One way in which we do this is by attending and hosting ‘meet-and-greet’ sessions – organised by Onbeperkt aan de Slag (‘Unlimited to work’) and WerkgeversServicepunt (‘Employer service point’) – that aim to connect candidates with employers. For VodafoneZiggo, it is a prime opportunity to meet new talent with the capabilities and motivation we look for. In 2023, we held a meet-and-greet in Utrecht that attracted more than 45 employers and 120 candidates, attended 20 other sessions in various regions of the Netherlands and hired nine new colleagues whom we met during these events. We also set up a new position during the year: a diversity recruiter who matches vacancies with talent from parts of society to which we want to have better access as an employer.

As of 31 December 2023, we employed 136 people with a challenge to work, and our efforts to create career opportunities for people who might face extra difficulties in the workplace – and to support them with adjusted hours or adapted tasks – were recognised with a Frontrunner nomination for VodafoneZiggo in the Ctalents Diamond Awards.


VodafoneZiggo is home to four internal employee networks, each with its own budget and calendar of activities. In 2023, Women Connected, Intercultural Connected, Queers Connected and Go-Getters Connected collaborated on events, workshops and training sessions, promoting intersectionality among different communities within our organisation.

Highlights from the year included our sponsorship of Pride Utrecht, Pride Amsterdam and Pride Groningen and our participation in the launch of a new programme for entrepreneurs with disabilities (Onbeperkt Ondernemen). We also held our first iftar meal (new window) and Diwali celebrations, bringing together colleagues from all over the Netherlands to learn and connect.


We want all our employees to feel safe and respected at work, regardless of their gender, ability, sexual orientation, age, religion or cultural background. In addition to diverse representation, fostering belonging and promoting allyship are key factors in creating an inclusive culture at VodafoneZiggo. In 2023, women made up 29% of our organisation and 39% of our top management, and we trained more than 200 people leaders on conscious inclusion, covering topics such as showing empathy, listening without judgement and stepping up as allies.

We want vodafoneziggo to represent the society we operate in.

We also ran team-focused ‘inclusion booster’ sessions with an external facilitator throughout 2023. These were arranged in response to the rise in the number of reports made the previous year about behaviour that made colleagues uncomfortable. We believe this concerning trend reflected, first, the national conversation about inappropriate workplace behaviour and, second, the success of our new Trust Buddies and Hotlines reporting channels (see Ethics and Compliance (new window)). Nevertheless, we are determined to combat unacceptable behaviour through, for example, measures like these inclusion sessions.


Despite our progress on DE&I so far, we know there is a long way to go before we fully realise our culture of belonging. On the agenda for 2024 are an inclusion assessment for every step of all employee journeys and new guidelines on inclusive language. We are also investigating how we can make our purchasing more diverse and inclusive, for instance by partnering with BIPoC-owned businesses or suppliers that are certified by the Prestatieladder Socialer Ondernemen (‘Social entrepreneurship performance ladder’).

As we prepare our new VodafoneZiggo Corporate Labour Agreement (see Employer of choice (new window)), we will take the opportunity to embed DE&I considerations where possible, such as by using the Equity Sequence™ in our decision-making processes. Meanwhile, our next DE&I employee survey will take place in the summer of 2024, providing a fresh round of insights into where we are supporting our employees and where we can – and must – do better.

Leave no one behind

We live in an increasingly digital society, but more than 2.5 million people (new window) in the Netherlands struggle to fully participate. At VodafoneZiggo, we enable access to connectivity for all, ensure our digital products and services are user friendly to everyone and empower people with essential digital skills – all with the goal of making sure no one is left behind.


As a telecom company, we are a driving force behind digital acceleration – but we also know we have a responsibility to put people at the centre of what we do. There is no single solution for closing the digital divide, which is why we focus simultaneously on access, accessibility and digital skills, and why we work closely with partners of all kinds to magnify our positive impact (see Social partners (new window)).

VodafoneZiggo is a founding member of the Digital Society Alliance (Alliantie Digitaal Samenleven (new window)), which brings together public and private stakeholders to realise a more digitally inclusive society. In 2023, we convened a stakeholder session at our Central Office to foster connections between organisations driving digital inclusion and initiatives. During the session, we worked together with the Alliance on ‘The Manifesto: Close the Digital Divide (new window)’, providing the foundational framework for our shared mission.


For the 3% of Dutch households (new window) without a fixed internet connection, the first barrier to digital participation is simply gaining access to the internet. We see internet access as a basic human need, and we believe VodafoneZiggo has a responsibility to help meet this need. In October 2023, we and a range of Digital Society Alliance partners launched the pilot scheme of a new digital participation package (Digitaal Meedoen Pakket) that provides a reduced-price internet subscription to people on a low income who do not have an existing connection. A second-hand laptop or tablet and support with digital skills are also included in the package.

Through this pilot, we are connecting around 250 households in Utrecht to the internet, with more to come in Amsterdam. Eligibility is decided by the local municipality. The scheme will run for a year, during which time we will investigate, among other things, why participants were not already connected to the internet, whether this package is a positive solution for them and whether it is feasible to roll it out on a wider scale.


In an emergency, access to the internet becomes more essential than ever. Leaving no one behind therefore also means ensuring connectivity when people need it most. Our instant Network team from the Vodafone Foundation (new window) is on hand to set up emergency communications in critical situations, ensuring first responders and affected communities can access help, coordinate relief efforts and stay connected.

The team was in action in Turkey in early 2023, creating crucial connections for people affected by February’s earthquake. As part of a Vodafone consortium, VodafoneZiggo colleagues provided instant WiFi at seven locations (new window) as well as several high-speed mobile chargers (see Connections when it matters most). In November, a team from the Vodafone Foundation set up Instant Network School solutions – consisting of a powerful modem plus a server full of on- and offline lesson content – for six schools in the refugee city of Kakuma, Kenya (new window).


This global network harnesses the power of connectivity to change lives, responding to specific local needs in countries where Vodafone Group, one of our parent companies, is active. Since 2002, the Vodafone Netherlands Foundation has been using technology to improve the lives of people in a vulnerable position in Dutch society.


Providing access to the digital world is not always enough to ensure that everyone can fully participate: leaving no one behind also means making sure all our digital products and services are user friendly and accessible to as many people as possible, no matter their different needs and abilities.

In 2023, we took important steps towards ensuring full and equal participation and thereby enabling progress for everyone. This included working to ensure our products and services meet the standards set out in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as well as complying with the upcoming European Accessibility Act (EAA). The year also saw us significantly step up our engagement with employees about accessibility; for example, by holding experience sessions to raise awareness of the importance of inclusion for people with disabilities.

Meanwhile, our designers and programmers launched a bottom-up initiative aimed at delivering accessible digital products. Trainings to help embed accessibility by design throughout customer journeys and touchpoints will begin in 2024. In addition to this, we aim to include more diverse groups of customers in our testing and research activities, helping us develop features that support a seamless user experience for more people.


The third strand of our approach focuses on education and support related to digital literacy. Since 2018, our Welcome Online programme, run in collaboration with the Nationaal Ouderenfonds (National Foundation for the Elderly) and ASML, has been dedicated to enhancing digital literacy among seniors. Having originally offered personalised assistance, we have expanded our support to include various workshops in libraries, community centres and sports clubs, complemented by online courses for self-paced learning.

In 2023, in recognition of the importance of physical assistance and personal contact when dealing with digital questions, we introduced our Digital Tuesday drop-in sessions at selected VodafoneZiggo shops. Every week from 10 AM to 1 PM, both customers and non-customers can receive help from our skilled staff on everything from navigating phone settings and setting up video calls to guidance on useful apps. We actively collaborate with local networks, such as the library’s Informatiepunt Digitale Overheid (‘Digital government information point’), ensuring attendees are directed to the right assistance. Having piloted Digital Tuesdays in four shops in 2023, we aim to roll out this initiative to more shops in 2024.

Moreover, in 2023, we built the Huiskamer van Toen (‘The living room of yesteryear’), a space that comes to life through 360° projections and takes elderly people through highlights from the rich seventy-year history of TV entertainment. This project, which toured residential homes as well as a 50+ exhibition for the elderly and was complemented by Welcome Online workshops, not only evoked a sense of nostalgia but also initiated dialogues about modern technology, smartphones and digitalisation, effectively connecting past and present.


Even for so-called digital natives, using the internet safely and positively can be challenging. The Vodafone Foundation’s Online Masters programme empowers youngsters with essential digital skills, as well as knowledge about the challenges and opportunities of digitalisation. By encouraging and enabling responsible technology use from an early age, we are helping to lay the foundations for a more digitally responsible and connected society. All modules – which include everything from sexting and fake news to future careers and personal growth – are designed to act as stepping stones to progress for young people, both in their own lives and within wider society.

In partnership with JINC, we also invited young people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds to Experience Days at seven VodafoneZiggo offices in 2023. This ‘lightning internship’ aims to help students at primary and vocational schools in deprived areas explore different career sectors and professions, so they can make informed decisions about their future.

In 2023, our digital skills initiatives, such as Welcome Online, Online Masters and Experience Days, made a positive impact on more than 194,000 people, thanks to our VodafoneZiggo volunteers and the funding received from the Vodafone Foundation.

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